Ending Oil Dependence: Protecting National Security, the Environment and the Economy

David B. Sandalow
David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
David B. Sandalow Former Brookings Expert, Inaugural Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy - School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

February 28, 2007

Oil use continues to climb in the United States and around the world, creating national security, environmental and economic problems. Yet new technologies and an emerging political consensus bring solutions within reach.

The next President can help end the nation’s debilitating dependence on oil with steps that include:

  • transform the auto fleet with federal purchases of plug-in hybrid vehicles, tax incentives for the purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles paid for with the federal gasoline tax , a fund to help automakers invest in fuel-saving technologies, and automatic annual increases in fuel economy standards
  • transform the fuel supply by requiring oil companies to retrofit gas station pumps for ethanol, increasing support for cellulosic ethanol, adjusting the ethanol subsidy as oil prices rise and fall, phasing out the ethanol import tariff for producers that meet social and environmental standards, and supporting lower prices for off-peak electricity
  • protect the climate with federal cap-and-trade legislation
  • invest in research on advanced energy technologies
  • transform oil diplomacy by focusing on fuel efficiency in consuming nations, not just additional supply
  • establish an “Oil Addiction Index” to stimulate and track progress

Download Position Paper (PDF) 
Download Fact Sheet (PDF)

Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.